The Hague

De Bieb! (Or: Not a library, but a bar)

Near where the old central library used to be you can find a bar that goes by the name “De Bieb“. Bieb is a shortened, slang version of bibliotheek, or library in English. I knew I had to go there when a colleague told me that the bar had black cherry beer!

De Bieb bar in The Hague

My black cherry beer is on the left (Liefmans Kriek). It’s a beer from Belgium, and awesomely sour. Not something you would normally associate with a beer. Marco had a “Funky Falcon” which combines lemongrass, lemon, caramel and more. He let me have a sip – it was quite tasty.

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Flowers at Hobbemaplein (Or: A hint of summer)

Hobbemaplein in May – an area of The Hague known for its market (one of the largest open air markets in Europe, so they say!).

Flowers by Hobbemaplein, The Hague

And a close up of the flowers:

Close up of flowers at Hobbemaplein, The Hague

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Self-serve! (Or: Starbucks at the movie theatre)

Earlier in the month we saw Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2. Great movie! While there I was able to check out the new coffee options, as the Pathé movie theatre by Spui now has self-service Starbucks coffee.

Self-serve Starbucks at Pathe Spui, The Hague

Apparently it’s been around for a few months but this is the first movie I had seen since they installed it.

Starbucks in Pathe Spui, The Hague

Of course you don’t have all of the options you would with a full-service Starbucks, but it is still some nice coffee, especially when viewing a movie in the morning!

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Removing temptation (Or: Bus and tram benches being replaced in The Hague)

Back in March 2015 The Hague replaced the shelters at bus and tram stops. The best part of the new design in my opinion was the much prettier glass on the sides and top. The design also included new benches which have since become an issue for curious kids. Have a look and see if you can guess what the issue is:

Holes in the bus and tram shelter benches in The Hague

Yep. The holes (which are used to drain off rainwater) are just the right size for a curious kid to stick their finger in. It took around a year (August 2016) for the first curious kid to get a few fingers stuck in the bench but after that the incidents just kept coming this year. With the first child they decided to administer anesthesia on the spot and cut out the bench around the finger, but since then they have removed an entire section of the bench and transported the child to the hospital (with part of the bench still around his finger) to remove it there.

Last month it was decided that the benches would be replaced using the advertising money the shelter generates, but it was still at a cost of more than half a million. The benches now use slits rather than holes to let the rainwater escape. The replacement of the benches began on May 2nd and will take until mid-July. And guess what happened on May 2nd? Yep, another kid got his fingers caught!

Speaking of trams, a friend and I went to the remise or depot in Scheveningen to see (one of the places) where the trams are stored overnight. This is also where the workers start and end their shifts.

HTM remise in Scheveningen.jpg

Tram remise in Scheveningen

The tram above is being driven backwards into the remise. There’s a small grey box at the back of these older trams which tram drivers can use to “back the tram in”. That way they are facing the right direction when they need to leave in the morning. It’s only needed for the older types – the two types that have come since then are made to be driven from either direction during normal operation.

Categories: Scheveningen, The Hague, Transportation | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Stirrings of spring (Or: Flowers by the Buitenhof)

Spring is probably here already, but some days it feels so cold. At least there are beautiful flowers to enjoy!

Flowers by Buitenhof, The Hague

This is by the Buitenhof in The Hague.

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Art on the streets (Or: The Life I Live festival 2017, The Hague)

Thursday was King’s Day in the Netherlands, a holiday to celebrate King Willem-Alexander’s birthday. Or to just enjoy a nice day off…

But the real fun happens the night before, as The Hague organises a festival called The Life I Live. I have written a few blog posts about it, including last year’s rainy celebration and the 2013 celebration (back when it was Queen’s night; the last one as Queen Beatrix addicted the throne the next day).

The Life I live festival 2017, Kerkplein in The Hague

One of the many stages, set up at the Kerkplein (by the Grote Kerk)

Like last year, there was also an area set up for street art. This year’s theme must have been Mondriaan-inspired as there was a lot of primary colors in block formation.

Street art at The Life I Live festival 2017, The Hague

A look at another side, which had just been started:

Street art at The Life I Live festival 2017, The Hague (2)The third side:

Street art at The Life I Live festival 2017, The Hague (3)

And the last side – Marco’s favorite – a Mondriaan-inspired Transformer!:

Transformers street art at The Life I Live festival 2017, The Hague

Luckily the rain held off this year. It was cold – colder then even Christmas! – but bearable.

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Tables outside Irodion, Greek restaurant (Or: Shadows and sunlight)

More and more tables are being set up outside in anticipation of the warming weather:
Irodion Greek restaurant in The Hague - tables outside

The best part is not having to grab the heavy winter jacket anymore!

This was taken by the Greek restaurant “Irodion” which is right next to the Grote Markt tram stop and the statue of Haagse Harry, both of which I’ve blogged about recently.

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Bus 72 in The Hague (Or: An outdated sign)

Just a sign I came across while wandering around The Hague:

Outdated bus 72 sign in The Hague

Let op! spelende kinderen = Caution! Children playing

It looks like the kids spent their entire time outside throwing a ball at that particular sign, considering how dented it is…

Underneath you have a sign for bus 72, a temporary bus stop. It goes on to say that bus 72 replaces tram 6 and tram 12 for certain areas of the city during ‘wintery conditions’. Luckily we are now in April, so I assume we won’t be having any more ‘wintery conditions’.

Take down the sign and bring on spring!

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Jamie Oliver is coming to The Hague (Well: His restaurant is coming…)

Last week while wandering around the city centre I saw an advertisement for a still-under-construction Jamie Oliver restaurant. It’s almost ready, having first been announced back in November of last year. The date of opening is set as “this spring”.

Jamie Oliver restaurant in The Hague

There are also two photos on Facebook of what the restaurant looks like from the inside. This would actually be his second restaurant in the Netherlands, and shockingly the first was not opened in Amsterdam but in Rotterdam. It can be found in the Markthal (Market hall) which I blogged about previously

The restaurant will be by MediaMarkt (which would be just right of the bikes if the photo  zoomed out more). I definitely won’t be eating in this restaurant on day one, but I suspect that I will end up there sometime in 2017 just to see what the fuss is about.

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The stirrings of spring (Or: Flowers to photograph)

On Thursday evening Marco and I decided to take full advantage of the beautiful weather and walk outside after dinner. One thing that caught my eye was a beautiful bank of flowers that the city had placed around the ‘De Plaats’ plaza:

Flower bank in The Hague at De Plaats

This plaza is well known for the statue of Johan de Witt. He and his brother Cornelis were executed at the plaza in 1672. Wikipedia has a nice photograph of the unveiling of the statue by Queen Wilhelmina in 1918. Almost 100 years ago!

Close up of flowers in The Hague

And one more close up:

Close up of flowers in The Hague, spring 2017

Curious where De Plaats is in The Hague? It’s across the street from the Hofvijver, in the city center. It is also really close to the Dutch parliament.

De Plaats, The Hague - Spring time flowers

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